Knowledge and UnderstandingNature of and Policy on Social Enterprises
Is SE a charity?
No, an SE is different from a charity.
A charity is established for charitable purposes. Its operating expenses are mainly funded by donations and sponsorships.
On the other hand, an SE is a business aiming at making profits through the provision of products and services, while achieving specific social objectives. Its profits will be principally re-invested in the business to sustain its social objectives.
Must an SE employ the socially disadvantaged?
An SE operates as a business with an aim of achieving specific social objectives for handling various social issues. Some SEs target at helping the socially disadvantaged by offering them employment and training opportunities, thereby facilitating them to integrate into the community and become self-reliant.
Some SEs target at pursuing other social objectives, such as enhancing social inclusion, promoting environmental protection, fostering fair trade and advocating cultural inheritance, etc.
Has the Government established any advisory body specialising in issues related to SE ?
The Social Enterprise Advisory Committee under the Home and Youth Affairs Bureau is an advisory body on matters related to SEs. Its terms of reference are as follows:
- To advise the Government on the formulation of policies and strategies for supporting the sustainable development of SEs in Hong Kong;
- To advise the Government on programmes/activities that promote development of SEs and to monitor their implementation;
- To foster better understanding and encourage closer cooperation amongst relevant stakeholders in the development of SEs; and
- To undertake research studies on matters pertaining to the development of SEs.
For more information, please visit the Advisory Committee's website.